||October 1, 2013
||20.1 avg brix
||New Jupilles Oak
||Second Use Jupilles Oak
||Second Use Virginia Oak
||Stainless Steel - 31 days on the skins
||Feb 21, 2015
Warning – Not for the weak! This is a powerful wine with wildly intense characteristics. Tim cannot stop talking about this one. It has great depth and richness with the nose starting it off with grilled toast, clementine, straw, almond and butter tones. It is wild and complex. The palate is full bodied and very generous with incredible creamy yet slightly astringent mouthfeel. This is a wine like no other and oh boy is it good. It has the freshness to keep you coming back and the density and structure to pair well with many foods. It is pretty cool now, but we do want to watch this progress over the next 5 years.
The fruit for this wine came from a vineyard we are sourcing from in Gordonsville in the Monticello AVA.
The Rkatsiteli comes from a site that is at the base of the many surrounding hillsides of the area. It is fairly hard red clay soils and is really showing well with this interesting variety originating from the Republic of Georgia. The fruit tends to be very Sauvignon Blanc like from this site but with somewhat lower alcohol levels only being in the 10-11% range with vibrant acidity and a great balance of herbal and citrus like elements.
The 2013 vintage will often be remembered as the year that took 5 off the end of every winemaker’s life span. In the end, it all came together with a brilliant harvest time, but leading up was constantly scary. The wines show great vibrancy and finesse with the early ripeners shining like Chardonnay and Merlot. There was some struggle with the later ripeners getting them fully mature.
The season started very late with a very cold and wet spring. We did not see bud break until the start of May which is unheard of. Everyone thought it was a blessing in disguise and that at least we wouldn’t have to worry about frost. We were wrong. We had the latest frost I remember on May 14th and while it did not do tons of damage, it did weaken the vines going into the season. The rest of the summer season we unseasonably wet and cool so we knew we would have trouble ripening the late riperners and had to get all the canopies wide open and drop fruit. In the end dropping fruit came back to bite us as the frost and cold weather forced the vines to start aborting some fruit as well. It also forced the worse animal damage (birds, raccoons, etc.) that we have seen because their nature food sources in the forests were wiped out from the tough year.
The sun came out close to the end of August and stayed through the picking season which was great. It allowed us to be patient and harvest some superb fruit with incredible balance. I the end we quite like what we have from 2013, but the downfall is it is the smallest harvest on record, by far.
This wine was made with the same mindset that we have when we start our reds like Merlot or Cabernet. The biggest difference is that we tend to be even more aggressive in our extraction techniques but also done very cool. This wine was cold soaked for 11 days prior to starting a cool ferment capping out at 62 degrees to preserve aromatics. The wine took about 14 days to finish fermentation and was left for an extended maceration for a total of 31 days on the skins. The wine was pulsed three times per day to keep the cap submerged as much as possible to extract the rich tannins. The press fraction and free run were combined and 100% malo-lactic was dine in stainless steel. The wine was then racked to barrel for 15 months and batonage occurred by-weekly. The wine was assembled, filtered and bottled in February 2015.
It is the most versatile wine we make, but it really is at home with a seared Veal chop or grilled Swordfish. It likes the density and has the acidity to cut through the oils of the fish or soft tannins to balance with the chop. Top the chop with a simple browned butter sauce or the fish with a beurre blanc and be in heaven.
275 Cases of 12 bottles